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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 4, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: warning shots were fired in the streets of ukraine, and in tough rhetoric from leaders in moscow, washington and kiev, as the u.s. called on russia to step back from what it now calls an act of aggression. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this tuesday. president obama unveils his new budget blueprint, laying the groundwork for political battles over how to close the country's economic gaps. >> ifill: plus... >> with this app, we can make better decisions and maybe in the future i think we can change the world with this game. >> ifill: the california program introducing young men to the world of hack-a-thons and tech startups, training them to
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become the app developers of tomorrow. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> at bae systems, our pride and dedication show in everything we do; from electronics systems to intelligence analysis and cyber- operations; from combat vehicles and weapons to the maintenance and modernization of ships, aircraft, and critical infrastructure. knowing our work makes a difference inspires us everyday. that's bae systems. that's inspired work. >> i've been around long enough to recognize the people who are out there owning it. the ones getting involved, staying engaged. they are not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they
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never want to ask is, "how did i end up here?" i started schwab with those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in evher aspect of their lives. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the president of russia spoke out today on the ukraine crisis, for the first time since effectively taking over crimea. vladimir putin alternately defended his country's actions,
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and tried to ease international concerns, on a day of conflicting signals. >> woodruff: in crimea, russian forces occupying an air base, fired warning shots today to disperse unarmed ukrainian servicemen. in moscow, russian president vladimir putin said the situation is gradually stabilizing. he insisted that local self- defense forces, not russian troops, had seized ukrainian bases. and he announced an end to military exercises in western russia. still, he insisted his government reserves the right to use force to protect ethnic russians in ukraine. >> reporter: if we see that lawlessness starting in eastern regions too, if people ask us for help
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we reserve the right to use all options at our disposal to protect those citizens. >> woodruff: on politics, the russian leader said viktor yanukovich is the legitimate president of ukraine but acknowledged he has no political future. and putin suggested moscow might reject the results of any new elections. >> reporter: it depends on how they will be held. if they are held in the same terror that we see now in kiev, then we won't recognize. >> woodruff: in washington, president obama flatly rejected putin's justifications for russia's actions. >> president putin seems to have different set of lawyers making different set of interpretations. but i don't think that's fooling anybody. i think everybody recognizes that although russia has legitimate interests in what happens in neighboring state, that does not give it the right to use force as a means of exerting influence in that state >> woodruff: ukraine's new prime minister, speaking in kiev, also demanded the russians back off, while announcing the two sides are now talking. >> reporter: we are once again
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calling on russia to stop military aggression on the territory of ukraine. ukraine is ready to renew and moderate a new style of relations. we have begun consultations at the ministerial level between the governments of ukraine and russia. >> thank you! thank you! thank you! >> woodruff: all of this, as secretary of state john kerry arrived in kiev's foggy independence square, paying tribute to protesters who died in sniper attacks. he condemned what he called russia's act of aggression. >> it is not appropriate to invade a country and, at the end of a barrel of a gun, dictate what you are trying to achieve. >> woodruff: kerry also met with ukraine's interim leaders, and announced a $1 billion economic package for the new government. meanwhile, there was more talk in the west of imposing sanctions on russia. even as moscow warned it would retaliate. foreign minister sergei lavrov spoke during a visit to tunisia.
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>> ( translated ): on our sanctions, i will not even exaggerate, we have always opposed unilateral sanctions. they never lead to anything good and i hope that our partners understand that this is counter- productive to political activity. >> woodruff: russia did agree to meet with nato representatives tomorrow, to discuss ukraine. and russian and world markets rose on those developments, and putin's words. >> woodruff: amid the tensions over ukraine, russia announced today it successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile. it said the dummy warhead hit its target at a proving ground in kazakhstan. we'll hear much more on the day's developments, right after the news summary. wall street rebounded today as jitters over ukraine eased. the dow jones industrial average gained almost 228 points to close near 16,396. the nasdaq rose 74 points to close just short of 4,352. and the standard and poor's 500 was up 28 points, to finish near 1,874.
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>> woodruff: president obama has rolled out his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, totaling almost $4 trillion. it includes new tax hikes to offset additional spending for education and job-training. but republicans say it does nothing to address the nation's fiscal challenges. we'll discuss its approach to helping low income americans, later in the program. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is warning the u.s. and the world against letting iran go ahead with any part of its nuclear program: he spoke in washington, a day after meeting with president obama. >> the leading powers of the world are talking about leaving iran with the capability to enrich uranium. i hope they don't do that because that would be a grave error. it would leave iran as a threshold nuclear power. >> woodruff: netanyahu also said
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that far from easing sanctions on iran, the world should increase them. he also urged the palestinians to recognize israel as a jewish state, if they really want peace. the process of removing syria's chemical weapons is picking up pace. the dutch diplomat overseeing the operation said today the assad regime has handed over six shipments of toxic agents. she spoke in amsterdam, at the headquarters of the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons. >> the syrian authorities have submitted a revised plan with a timetable of around 60 days in order to accelerate and to intensify their efforts to ensure timely removal for onward destruction. as of today nearly one third of syria's chemical weapons material has been removed or destroyed inside of the country. >> woodruff: sigrid kaag said it's still possible to finish destroying all of the material by the end of june, under a u.n. agreement.
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>> the court marshall of a u.s. army general for sexual assault opened today at fort bragg, north carolina. jeffrey a sinclair, brigadier general, believed to be the most senior officer ever to face trial for sexual assault, charged with forcing a female captain to perform sex acts. if conducted faces life in prison. >> woodruff: a deep freeze gripped the mid-atlantic, northeast and parts of the southern united states today. temperatures hit the single digits, with some areas reporting record lows for the month of march. schools and government offices up and down the east coast remained closed, or delayed, for another day. the arctic chill also triggered a rare sight: parts of the cascading waters at niagara falls, between the u.s. and canada, froze over. >> woodruff: brazil's carnival season came to a close today after days of extravagant parades and celebrations. in rio de janeiro, costumed performers danced below massive floats through monday night and
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well into this morning. meanwhile in new orleans, mardi gras was a cold, wet, gray day, but revelers gathered in the french quarter, just the same. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: next steps for the u.s. in the ukraine crisis; president obama makes closing economic gaps a budget priority; what's behind the spike in suicides in the u.s. military; plus, giving young men the skills to become tomorrow's computer coders. >> ifill: the standoff in ukraine, and the tension it has triggered between the u.s. and russia, has become the central foreign policy challenge in washington, in moscow and in european capitals. here to take us behind the scenes: chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner. margaret, welcome again. we saw today between john kerry, the president spoke and
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especially vladimir putin, what does it significance? >> i can tell you what the administration thought putin had to say. on the one hand the press reports emphasize his touch talk about how russia had a right to go into ukraine to protect russians and felt he was out of touch with reality in terms of denying russian troops are there. on the other hand, they saw a couple of glimmers of encouragement. one, he talked about elections coming up in may which is what the u.s. is talking about. two, he admitted yanukovich walked away from power and told him on the phone the other day he'll never win another election. seemed to be in conflict. and talked about wanting to engage. so last night with n a meeting between the russians and the german foreign ministers, the russian foreign minister had no interest in taking steps to
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starting the russians and ukraines talking. >> ifill: there's a talk about sanctions. secretary kerry mentioned a billion dollars today. are they moving any closer to reality? >> they are. an official traveling with secretary kerry talked about the fact there could be something coming as early at next week. this week, i talked to aide to senator corken, there's a movement on the hill they impose some sanctions. they're trying to get the administration in on that. the interesting word on sanctions came from german officials today who said despite all the stories about how chancellor merkel is more reluctant on sanctions than some of the europeans, they said the prime minister has a state summit on thursday and, if there is no movement, no change from putin, sanctions will be on the table. so either the administration would like to have the europeans
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have a concerted front, not one because they're more effective, economic sanctions, are but, two, for the political signal it sends. >> ifill: are the europeans in lock step with the u.s. on these kinds of things? >> no, to the contrary. as we know, europe has much closer trade ties, they are more dependent for emergency on russia. russia is a very near neighbor if not a direct neighbor. one european official said to me, it's a little different for you all sitting in the u.s. russia doesn't really look like a direct threat. but if you're in the neighborhood -- you know, there are both positive benefits to engaging with russia and also the hostility that exists there. so, no, they're not on the same page, but i heard secretary kerry say today he was quite sure they would work it together. in other words, if they would be in agreement. what we don't know is does that mean the administration thinks
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they can bring the europeans along to where they are? or does it mean that president obama is willing to slow his pace down to stick with the europeans? >> ifill: how much -- you alluded in the answer to the first question, how much does this depepped on their confidence in putin's motives, that they truly believe as merkel has been quoted as saying he lost it? >> the german officials wouldn't confirm she used those words but said that does reflect the german view. it's obvious from what putin said today, american officials say, well, how do you read putin? you can't read putin. other than knowing he's an ultra nationalist who wants to retain or enlarge the russian sphere of influence in his neighborhood, they really don't know how to read him, they've given up. what is concerning to him and europeans is he has the bit between his teeth on this issue.
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so, for example, russian foreign minister lavrov on whom secretary kerry spent a lot of time developing a relationship with in iran and syria to some degree, they're supposed to meet tomorrow, though that's not 100% set in europe, there is a concern in the administration that lavrov may not have much room to maneuver. >> ifill: this is putin's baby. how far is the u.s. prepared to push on this? >> that is the question. >> ifill: yeah. this is a hypothetical, so i couldn't get anyone to engage on it. let's say putin says, look, i'm not moving into southeastern ukraine short of incredible provocation, which he sort of hinted that today, but he retains the status quo in crimea in which the russian troops, he may call them irregulars, but there are russian troops outside the bases they're allow. does the world treaty say crimea
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used to belong to russia and it's de facto and we have to accept it, for do the united states and europeans continue to then say, well, we're not going to send troops in but exact a price and i think that remains to be decided. margare>> ifill: paring margin s so much. so many questions to answer. >> ifill: is this a standoff the u.s. should have seen coming? and what are the options now? for that we get two views. john mearsheimer is a professor at the university of chicago and has written extensively on strategic issues. and amy knight has authored several books about russian politics and history. she also writes for the new york review of books. welcome to you both. john mearsheimer, as you see it now, what are the options that are available for the u.s. or europe or russia? >> well, the fact is, we have remarkably few options. we have no military option at all. even john mccain and almost every hawk has said that there's no military option here. and when you look at the
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economic options, they do not look attractive at all either. people talk about sanctions, i think it's going to be very difficult to get the europeans to go along with meaningful sanctions, and even if they do go along with meaningful sanctions, the fact is that the russians have ways of countering us. the russians will put enormous pressure on ukraine and even will put pressure on the europeans. they have a second strike, so to speak, here. so we don't have really good options, which is why we should have never gotten into this mess to begin with. >> ifill: amy knight, what is your take on that? >> well, i think clearly the u.s. is in a difficult position and i do agree that we can't count on the europeans to back all the economic sanctions, but nonetheless i think putin and his colleagues in the kremlin probably are nervous about the possibility of having visas
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denied to russian businessmen and probably assets frozen. i think the other thing is putin showed by the effort russia put into the olympics -- they spent over $50 billion -- that the image of russia and putin himself in the west was very important, and now that is pretty much gone down the drain because of this recent incursion into crimea. >> ifill: john mearsheimer, as you look into this situation today, we heard john kerry use the word "deescalate." is it too late por for that? >> no, i don't think so. everybody has a deep-seated interest in trying to deescalate the crisis and go back to the status quo ante. we certainly don't want a war or see ukraine partitioned or anything like that. what we would like to do is have an election this coming may in that country, get a government in place that is neither anti-russian or terribly pro-russian and create a
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situation where we don't have any significant differences with the russians over ukraine. and i think, in addition to that, what we also have to do is we have to stop talking about nato expansion. i think it's an important backdrop to this whole crisis. since the end of the cold war, the united states and the west europeans have been pushing nato further and further eastward, and this just drives the russians crazy. it's precipitated, in my opinion, the 2008 war between georgia and russia, and i think what's going on here is that the russians are basically saying -- and here we're talking about putin -- that there's no way that they're going to tolerate a situation where the united states installs a pro-western rejeej in ukraine and then eventually brings ukraine into nato. that's simply unacceptable. >> ifill: that's a basic question. has the u.s. miscalculated, overreached in supporting nato expansion in ukrainian independence? >> i don't think so, particularly regarding the
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ukraine, i don't think the u.s. installed a government in ukraine. ukrainians were very emphatic that they were unhappy with the yanukovich government. it's terribly -- it was terribly corrupt and a good number of ukrainians wanted tighter ties, economic ties with europe. so i don't think the u.s. can be blamed for that. and i think that russia and the kremlin really underestimated the reaction that would come from their moving into crimea. i don't think it was such a wise thing, even though it's quite clear that putin's motivation was to show that russia does not tolerate easily what it perceives of as the west and the u.s., in particular, trying to influence events in states that were formerly a part of the soviet union. >> ifill: most americans
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watching the olympics and the chinese-sochi spectacle a few weeks ago were puzzled putin would make this effort to tarnish his reputation so quickly. is there something behind this that made this inevitable? >> most americans have been shocked at what happened. it's so clear the white house and most experts in washington have been shocked. i don't understand why they have been shocked. the fact is that putin and the russians more generally have made it clear that they will not tolerate on their borders a ukraine or a georgia that is pro-western and leaning towards joining nato. they're very clear on this, and we did not, by ourselves, engineer the coup in kiev, that's for sure, but there's no question that the americans were giving encouragement to the rebellious forces, and that helped topple the government. from a russian point of view, this is simply unacceptable. ukraine is a core strategic
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interest, and the fact that most americans don't understand that is amazing to me. >> ifill: let me ask you this, amy, is it too late at this point if there is an escalation possible, is it too late to return to some status quo place for ukraine where, indeed, vladimir putin steps back, a new government is in place and we go back to where we were before this latest hostility? >> well, i'm not sure whether it's possible in the near future to have russia withdraw its troops that were brought in recently to crimea. but it seemed pretty clear to me from putin's press conference that he is clearly backing down from the idea of further incouragens in eastern ukraine, for example, and i think that's really been the main concern of the u.s. and its european allies. that would really start a blood bath and a civil war, and i think, right now, for the time
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being, we can be pretty much assured that russia won't be taking those kind of steps. when and if it will be for conciliatory and step out of crimea, that's another question, and i think, as we see, nobody really knows whether that's going to happen or not and how far the united states will press russia in that direction. >> ifill: amy knight, john mearsheimer, thank you both so much for your incivil rights. >> thank you. >> woodruff: back in the u.s., the release of the president's budget today touched off a fresh round of debate in washington about spending priorities. mr. obama called on lawmakers to support investments that would help create jobs. but republicans said the plan spends too much, and would hurt the economy. >> woodruff: in boxes and on dollies, the 2015 fiscal year budget blueprint arrived at the capitol this morning, while
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president obama was describing it as balanced and responsible in a visit to a washington d.c. elementary school. >> it's a road map for creating jobs, with good wages and expanding opportunity for all americans. the nearly $4 trillion plan also serves as a kind of platform for democrats in november's congressional elections. it includes new spending for expanded pre-school education, job-training and public works. and it expands the earned income tax credit for low-wage workers while separately adding more than $1 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade. >> this budget gives millions more workers the opportunity to take advantage of the tax credit, and it pays, it pays for it by closing loopholes like the ones that let wealthy individuals classify themselves as a small business to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. >> woodruff: mr. obama withdrew last year's offer to slow down
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increases in social security benefits. but, the white house says the plan abides by spending limits in last december's budget compromise. >> and at a time when our deficit's been cut in half, it allows us to meet our obligations to future generations without leaving them a mountain of debt. >> woodruff: the 2015 deficit would decline, to $560 billion, but republicans today said the red ink, spending hikes and tax increases mean the plan is dead on arrival. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. >> rather than put together a constructive blueprint the two parties could use as a jumping off point, to get our economy moving and our fiscal house in order, the president has once again opted for the political stunt for a budget that's more about firing up the base in an election year than about solving the nation's biggest and most persistent long-term challenges >> woodruff: congressman paul ryan, the house budget chair, likewise called the obama plan a
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disappointment. in a statement, he said: >> woodruff: ryan offered an extensive critique yesterday of federal anti-poverty efforts. he's expected to release a republican budget proposal in the coming weeks. >> woodruff: some of the more notable pieces of the president's proposal, and expected to show up in the republican alternative, are the different approaches to poverty, inequality and social mobility. we contrast those perspectives ourselves. james capretta is a senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center. he served as associate director of the office of management and budget under president george w. bush. and robert greenstein is the founder and director of the center on budget and policy priorities. welcome to you both. >> thank you.
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bob greenstein, the president said in his state of the union address he wanted congress to reverse the tides of income equality which he said deepened in this country. does he do so in the budget and, if so, how? >> he does do it to some degree but there are limits to what government can do there that he makes a pretty solid effort. what he does is he raises money both by cutting some lower-priority spending and raising some revenues, particularly through a series of measurers to curb loopholes used particularly by very high-income people to avoid paying taxes the rest of us pay. he uses some of that money for deficit reduction, but he uses some of it for a series of investments. some should have opportunity broadly, including infrastructure, education, training and scientific research, but some is targeted on encouraging opportunity from
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people low on the income spectrum through things such as expanded wage supplement, earned-income credit for very low-wage workers and significant investments in pre-school education and early high-quality education for children from low-income families who otherwise start school why whined their pierce. >> jim capretta, what do you think the president is doing or not doing to close the gap? >> i think the budget is aimed at a political statement, not a legislative change. i don't think there is a chance the many proposals will be enacted. it's a political argument the democrats can carry into the november election. the white house all be admitted that's their aim with this kind of budget. back to the issue of inequality. there is a misunderstanding of how inequality came about and whether or not it affects people on the low end. inequality happened because we have a global economy and if someone finds a new idea or
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research effort or something that's innovative, you can do very, very well in this country if you're a part of that. does that come at the expense of people at the low end? no. there have been many, many economic studies that have shown that just because somebody at the high end is doing better that doesn't come at the expense of the low end. so the president's proposal is really a prescription for the wrong problem. secondly, even if it was the right problem, the amount of money we're talking about that he's redistributing from people on the high end to the low end is very, very minor given our economy and what the issue is. so i don't think it will have much of an effect because it won't have a chance of passage and is aimed at the wrong problem. >> woodruff: i want you to respond to that, bob greenstein, and i want you to get to what the parties might be able to come together on this year. >> this is just a political statement because it isn't going to pass this year. paul ryan's budget isn't going to pass this year either.
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nothing much is going to pass this year. that doesn't mean that's the obama or the ryan budget, which i don't agree with much in it, it doesn't mean either budget is nothing but a political statement and should be ignored. both budgets set forth a firm vision for a year-round debate because significant decisions are coming starting in 2015, i think. >> woodruff: okay. let's talk about what do you see in here, jim capretta, when you see the two parties working together? >> there's one possibility. i don't know how much of a chance, but around the earned income tax credit, there's more bipartisan support for that kind of an approach to wage supplements than it is for just redistributing through taxing and spending. earned income tax credit is a program that bob knows well that provides additional support directly through the federal tax system to people who are actually working, have a job and boosts their income directly to the proportion of end ages. it's the kind of thing that could be built on. it's better than doing, frankly, a minimum wage increase.
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>> i think we need to do both the minimum wage increase and earned income credit. you can't do the whole thing through the earned income credit, it puts too much strain on government finances. you can't do the whole thing through the minimum wage, that puts too much strain on employers. but i think jim is right, there is a potential here for even another reason. the president is proposing to increase the earned income credit for workers not living with minor children. a sizable earned income credit for families with kids. >> woodruff: right. you have young workers or middle-age workers who is single individuals, if they pay no wages, for those who are in poverty or deeper into poverty, that should be something where both parties say that's not a good idea and both parties want to encourage them to work for and earned income credit does that. >> woodruff: you see republicans moving in the president's direction, having more interest in doing something
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like this? >> i wouldn't say that. i think in the area of earned income tax credit, there might be some overlap. but in general the republican approach will be very different, i think. i think they'll look at the range of programs aimed at helping the poor and say a lot of these programs have been created without any relationship or understanding of how they interact with the others and create large disincentives to work when you stack them all together. lots of studies have shown when you pay someone a benefit and withdraw it when the earnings rise, in a sense you provide add disincentive for people to move up the wage ladder. so you stack all these things together and some people are losing 80% or more of their additional earnings when they get a better-paying job. i think republicans are working hard at that in trying to get the work incentives right. >> woodruff: to bore in for a sect on the earned income tax credit, what's the point at which you see the two sides coming together? >> there's two possibilities. you could do improvements expansion of the earned income
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credit as part of bipartisan tax reform, or you could do it as part of the package, a compromise package with the minimum wage. i'm not sure i see either of those happening in 2013, but i think there's a potential in a subsequent year. >> woodruff: what do you see. i agree with bob on that. i don't think much will happen in 2014. >> woodruff: even on this? even on. this it's too contentious. both sides will want to take this to the election in november. after november, there is a possibility, even around a low-income agenda, there might be some modest agreements. >> woodruff: all right. we'll leave it there. thank you both. jim capretta, robert greenstein. >> thank you. >> ifill: as american involvement, including multiple deployments, in afghanistan and iraq winds down, a recent and disturbing trend is drawing new attention, an increase in the rate of army suicides. and new research shows soldiers may be at greater risk even
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before they enlist. jeffrey brown has more. >> brown: the work was published in a series of papers in "jama pyschiatry," and done by independent researchers, funded, in part, by the army. among the key findings: one in 10 soldiers qualified for a diagnosis of what's known as intermittent explosive disorder. that rate is six times higher than in the civilian population. soldiers also came into the army with a higher rate of behavioral disorders such as substance abuse or a.d.h.d. than civilians. dr. ronald kessler of harvard medical school is one of the principal investigators. he joins us now. welcome. first, remind us of the extent of this problem and what piece of it were you most focused on? >> well, the extent of the problem is that roughly 18 out of every 100,000 soldiers commit suicide every year. so we're talking about really still quite a small number of
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people, but it's higher than the civilian population, and i was involved in the part of the study that looked at surveys to try to understand what the risk factors might be for these suicides. of course, the suicides are just the tip of the iceberg. there are many more suicide attempts, many more people thinking about killing themselves and life isn't worth living and so forth. so the whoag range of mental health outcome. >> brown: research shows many soldiers suffered from mental illness before coming into the military. explain what you found. >> that's true. the rates of mental illness among soldiers is considerably higher than in the civilian population, looking at people the same age, sex and education. part of that is because, when we look at lifetime prevalence of these disorders, some people who are soldiers today had higher rates of disorders than the civilian population even before they came into the army and they
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are substance disorders, a.d.h.d., intermittent explosive disorder you mentioned. what we think of as impulsive anger kind of disorders. in comparison to anxiety mood disorders and basic suicidality were not higher among soldiers than the rest of the population prior to time they entered the military. >> brown: what happens when they enter the military? what they brought with them mixes with other risk factors. were you able to look at specific cases and to see exactly what triggered suicide or suicidal thoughts? >> yeah, well, there's a combination of things. there are the things they come with, these impulsive, anger kind of things. and then once they get in the army, the rates of anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders and depression increase, and it's a combination of both signs of disorders strongly associated with suicidality.
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we find the majority of soldiers who are suicidal today have been accounted for by this profile of multiple emotional problems. some they brought in advance and some they acquired after entering the army. >> brown: so one obvious question is how much screening takes place for new recruits and what do your findings suggest about what should happen? >> right. well, you can't join the army if you have a serious mental disorder, if you've had a suicide attempt in the past, you're not allowed to join the army. if you're schizophrenic or have othercies duredder. however, we don't have a national registry for these things and the questions are pretty much just asking people to report whether they've had these problems and if they say no, even though they have, there's not much that we can do to do anything about that. we don't have any objective tests for the presence of mental disorders in the way we do blood
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pressure or a thermometer or blood tests or things of that sort. >> brown: that's what i was wondering. do anything in the findings help identify those who may be more likely to make suicide attempts? >> well, as i said, you know, the main thing, the people who make suicide attempts are not surprisingly people who have mental disorders. and the most important things are mental disorders. but if the issue that remains is is there something we can do to figure out how not to have people with mental disorders join, probably not. the reason is, a lot of people in the u.s. have some kind of history of mentalle disorder. probably 40 or 50% of the population at some time has had some type of mental disorder. doesn't mean they're psychotic.
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you could have the common cold disorders, a fear of dogs, small spaces, speaking in public or after you loss a job or broke up with a girlfriend maybe you were depressed for six weeks or so, there are all kinds of mental disorders. if you were to exclude all of those people, there wouldn't be many people left to join the army. so i think it's not practical to think in terms of excluding all those kind of folks. >> brown: i was asking in part about excluding but, also, once people are recruited and in the army, are there things the military could do better, once people have been identified as having some sort of problems as they come in, to deal with the kind of risk factors that you talked about that come with the military? >> yes. the military does an extraordinary job of getting people the treatment after they have been exposed to trauma and, in fact, the number of people in the military with mental disorders who are getting treatment is higher than the
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proportion of the population with the same disorders who get treatment. so addressing the problems of stigma and embarrassment and so forth, the military has done an extraordinary job. i think one thing that has caught all of us by surprise with these new findings is how many people came in before they had any exposure to traumatic military experiences with problems that subsequently were deemed to be important and there i think it's more challenging. we know from other studies of disasters, after hurricane katrina, after 9/11, many people came into treatment for disorders associated with those things, but, in fact, a lot of those people turned out to have problems that were preexisting. the question is how to get people to come in before then. >> brown: ronald kessler of harvard university, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: we will be right back with a look at an
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initiative adding diversity to the high tech industry. but first, this is pledge week on p.b.s.
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>> ifill: finally, creating a path to success in the high tech world for disenfranchised students. last week, president obama announced a new initiative to help level the playing field for young men of color. in oakland, california, one program is already underway. aarti shahani of k.q.e.d. in san francisco reports.
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>> okay, it didn't say after the third element. >> reporter: these teenagers spend hours glued to their computer screens. but they're not playing games or doing homework for that matter. they're studying something they're not taught at school: computer coding. they're picking up python and html-5 and ruby on rails. johnnel white is a sophomore at vallejo high. >> it's a new language. you learn, like you're learning spanish but you're learning something else other than spanish. and letters and numbers and symbols and all other stuff. >> reporter: this is the hidden genius project, a small non- profit that's working to recruit young black men into the high tech sector. it's one of the few parts of the economy that's booming and aching for diversity. >> the boys have to apply to the program and if accepted, they commit to classes twice a week in oakland.
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bryon muccular is a sophomore at salesian high school in richmond. he had hoped for a football career. then a knee injury put him on the sidelines. >> i didn't think i'd be doing anything in life and this comes along, hidden genius project, and it just opened, i just saw it open doors for me. >> reporter: bryon lives with his grandparents, who really like what he's doing, but don't quite get it. delores murray is his grandmother. >> i don't have any inkling what coding is. >> reporter: murray does understand that its a promising step. instead of just playing video games, her grandson could end up making them, for money. >> it has been a real good thing for a teenage young man who is trying to do the right thing. he is trying to stay out of the streets. trying to get good grades. he has all this going for him and then hidden genius comes along, just kind of adds a
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little more gel to the pudding, so that it, you know, it kind of sets. >> reporter: a few weekends ago, the hidden genius students spent three days working non-stop to build games and mobile apps. it was their very first hack-a- thon, one for black male achievement. and behind it is kalimah priforce. priforce, now a tech entrepreneur, started in a very different place. he grew up in foster care. and while he found a way out, his little brother did not. >> the system, reduced a lot of his opportunities to pursue his own dreams. he actually wanted to be a computer scientist. so he stayed in the group home system until he was 18 and then he aged out and he was killed a couple of months later. so that was when i decided to focus on becoming an educator. >> reporter: hack-a-thons are about generating ideas and prototypes, fast. the best ideas make it to
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market, but that's later. today, the focus is on mobile apps that help teens deal with everyday problems, like what to eat, and whether to show up to school. bryon and his group are working on a do-it-yourself adventure game about decision-making. johnnels team is creating a fitness app, with a cartoon bird that gets slimmer the more the user exercises. >> how many should we do? one jumping jack? >> five? ten? >> reporter: each team has tech professionals coaching the students. >> we was like we need coders, we need designers, we need a lot of people. >> reporter: oakland is a stones throw away from silicon valley, and companies like the music, streaming site pandora have set up shop here. but, priforce says, while the community is largely african- american, the start-up workforce is not. >> some of these kids they could be considered misfits, they could be considered disadvantaged, and all of these weird terms. but i like to prefer to see them as low opportunity youth.
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>> and we are trailblazers! >> reporter: at the end of the weekend, each group must pitch their ideas to each other. and a panel of judges. >> how did you reach out to get input? >> reporter: hack-a-thon funder mitch kapor has invested over a million dollars in the oakland start-up scene this last year alone. he says the east bay is full of untapped potential and maybe even the next billion-dollar company. >> i've always been looking around corners. so when i got started in personal computers in 1978, nobody took them seriously, and when i started looking at investing in internet companies in 1993, nobody took it seriously. so this really isn't any different. >> reporter: black and latino kids spend plenty of time using technology, but the hidden genius project wants to see consumers become producers, and see that diversity reflected in
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high-tech products. take violence on the streets. >> i believe that if we want to build an app that could have saved trayvon martins life one of the best approaches, is to make sure that trayvon martin is able to build that app for trayvon martin. >> reporter: as exciting as it is, a hack-a-thon is short- lived. it'll take a lot of coding, and programs like the hidden genius project, to really change the game. >> i live in south vallejo and its ghetto everyday. a lot of people stand outside, and i chose to code and come to hidden genius because i wanted to get away from that. with this app, we can make better decisions and maybe in the future i think we can change the world with this game. ( applause ) >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. russian president vladimir putin played down tensions with
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ukraine, but also said he reserves the right to use force to defend ethnic russians. and president obama rolled out a nearly $4 trillion budget. republicans said it was a non- starter. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, we mark fat tuesday with the history of one of the most infamous tourist rituals at mardi gras in new orleans. and find all of our vice week reporting, from the science of sloth to betting with bitcoins. all that and more is on our web site, >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, miles o'brien's second report from the crippled fukushima nuclear power plant. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff, we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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